We are reminded again and again with all the human tragedy that is caused by other people of how little value we place on human life. We see it in the major national crisis like mass shootings to the other end of the spectrum in abuse and neglect ranging from children to the aged. It seems like everyone is seeking for answers but missing the obvious, we as a culture have lost our perspective on the preciousness of human life.
This week I experienced from a distance something that I have personally experienced six times in my life, the birth of a child. This time it was the addition of our third grandson. I was moved again at how vulnerable life really is, not only during pregnancy and birth, but really all throughout life. I think that time has deepened my appreciation for something that we have forgotten or lost as a people.
I can remember the first delivery of our daughter. There is a difference, at least from my perspective, between the dad and the mom. Let’s face it the mom is obligated to the process of delivery. The dad, well take this the right way, is more of a spectator. I know that he needs to be involved in the process and I was too. Yet I can remember being in the fog and not really grasping what was happening at the moment. Maybe it was just the rush of everything that was happening so quickly. Maybe it was the tiredness that is experienced through the process. I can remember thinking at one point during labor, “Why is this taking so long?” Yes, I know I was being pretty selfish, and this was part of the process that would help me to grow into being a father.
There is a funny story, at least it is now, from one of our deliveries. I rushed home from work early to rush Caryl to the hospital. I think this was the time that I ran out of gas on the way (yes, a story for another time). We did make it to the hospital in time. The event happened once we were settled in the room. Caryl’s mom had thought ahead, and being of her generation, packed a meal to save cost. Once things settled down, she offered me a sandwich which I gladly accepted. Now, you ladies who have been in Caryl’s position understand her thoughts “How can you be eating at a time like this!” Of course I was clueless and hungry.
Our cultural loss of the preciousness of human life has cheapened life. The challenge of the follower of Jesus is to adopt God’s perspective that every life is valuable. Let us never forget that Jesus died on the cross for each and every person! The best way to change a culture is to invest in those around us. We can do that by integrating the Biblical values into our families and relationships. These simple values like respect for parents, authority, peers, age, property and nature instills a Biblical perspective that honors the image of God in every person. The end result is a deepening perspective of the preciousness of others. So the new little guy in our family has reminded me of my responsibility to make a difference.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14)
-Pastor Joe Parkinson